Multiplayer- A letter to the Devs

Share your thoughts and ideas about Mordheim: City of the Damned
Kamandi

Multiplayer- A letter to the Devs

Postby Kamandi » 26 December 2015, 09:26

Bullet points -
-cost to produce vs benefit of copies sold. More people will buy if they can play with their friends as well as against them.
-number of characters rendered, I think we can find solutions within the number that are currently used.
synching- we are already synching 2 players, lets do it co-op vs ai on existing maps and missions for starters.


I have read the dev's explanation of why a Multiplayer Co-op mode is not in the cards. Reasons cited were costs, syncing issues, limit of how many characters can be rendered, as well as a few others that I don't recall. All are very valid considerations. If it were easy I am sure it would already be in. All I can do is offer a few suggestions and reasons why it might be worth putting your coding hats on and approaching this issue again. Costs are always a consideration, so the question is would the cost be worth the benefit, the benefit being number of copies sold. We know how Steam works, friends see friends playing games and get curious and ask questions, which is brilliant built-in advertising. The first thing my friends usually ask me is "does Mordheim have Multiplayer?" I have to answer them honestly "yes, 1v1 with an average of zero games available at any given time." Being able to play with your friends is a huge selling point. A quick glance at steampowered.com/stats shows solid multiplayer games with 500,000 players who played today. From there the numbers drop off dramatically for even the most popular single-player titles. A quick glance at my skirmish screen shows an average of about 1000 for us at any given time, with most of those in single player mode. Cutting to the point, if we want to sell millions of copies for years to come, we need a solid multiplayer component, without having to schedule a 1v1 match like a doctor's appointment. This could increase sales exponentially, which could greatly offset the costs of developing a more robust multiplayer implementation. As to how many characters can be rendered, we can already do 10 human vs 10 ai characters, so it would seem 2 five character human controlled teams vs 10 ai opponents would be viable. I understand it's not quite that simple but solutions like 10 human co-op controlled vs 10 ai on existing maps and missions would go a long way towards pleasing the crowd who want to play with friends, not against them. As for syncing, we are already syncing 2 players against each other, would it not be possible to sync those same 2 against ai opponents? I'm not suggesting new missions, campaigns, animations, etc, rather looking for multiplayer options that would make more matches available in general. As for 2v2 human controlled teams, 5 characters per player would still fall within the 20 character limit. I don't know how the syncing would work, but it has been done before. The excellent initiative system already in place mitigates the boredom of waiting for a turn, which is prevalent in most TBS games., I am not a programmer and i don't understand all the factors but you clearly have a talented team of developers. I implore you to revisit the multiplayer and co-op issue. With a vibrant multiplayer community this game could be a top-seller for years to come, but right now that community is near non-existent. At the moment this game is suffering from the same thing as the table-top version, nobody to play it with. I have tried to stick to constructive criticism and I hope I haven't come across in a negative way. I believe the benefits of this wider appeal would translate directly to more copies sold, which would justify the costs required to make it happen. I realize this post is too long and I have probably lost you along the way. I will try to formulate a more concise presentation and post it in the future. If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time. Now I really must get back to my epic CoTP build. There are only so many hours in a day.

~Regards to the team. Keep up the good work.

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Urothar
Posts: 35
Joined: 13 July 2015, 20:06

Re: Multiplayer- A letter to the Devs

Postby Urothar » 09 January 2016, 11:10

Thank you Kamandi for your post - I actually thought about writing something similar for quite some time!

I want to give the idea my full support - I would love to play a coop campaign in Mordheim together with a friend and share the same warband. Nice thing about this idea is that there is no change in game mechanics or balancing required, so I hope that it should be quite easy to develop.

El muerto

Re: Multiplayer- A letter to the Devs

Postby El muerto » 21 January 2016, 21:09

I like the idea of playing together, today i played a battle against a friend of mine and he was a bit disappointed cause he thinks he is not as good in this game as me. I dont see us playing again. However, is there would be a co-op multiplayer against the ai, i am sure we will battle for ever. :D

prag
Posts: 46
Joined: 30 October 2015, 22:22

Re: Multiplayer- A letter to the Devs

Postby prag » 21 January 2016, 21:34

Agree on all counts.

The vast majority of complaints about this game are either people who don't fully understand what they're complaining about or relatively straightforward fixes. It's a great game except for this issue. Doesn't matter how good the AI might get, grinding the AI gets boring, and as the OP states, the current pvp system requires finding fellow players out of the game and scheduling a time for a match which is not in line with how all other successful pvp games operate.

I worry that an otherwise very fun game will disappear in short order if something isn't done to energize the pvp.

Breakin
Posts: 3
Joined: 14 February 2016, 02:10

Re: Multiplayer- A letter to the Devs

Postby Breakin » 14 February 2016, 03:18

1+

User avatar
MasterN
Posts: 82
Joined: 16 January 2016, 10:49

Re: Multiplayer- A letter to the Devs

Postby MasterN » 14 February 2016, 17:06

Bullet points -
-cost to produce vs benefit of copies sold. More people will buy if they can play with their friends as well as against them.
-number of characters rendered, I think we can find solutions within the number that are currently used.
synching- we are already synching 2 players, lets do it co-op vs ai on existing maps and missions for starters.


I have read the dev's explanation of why a Multiplayer Co-op mode is not in the cards. Reasons cited were costs, syncing issues, limit of how many characters can be rendered, as well as a few others that I don't recall. All are very valid considerations. If it were easy I am sure it would already be in. All I can do is offer a few suggestions and reasons why it might be worth putting your coding hats on and approaching this issue again. Costs are always a consideration, so the question is would the cost be worth the benefit, the benefit being number of copies sold. We know how Steam works, friends see friends playing games and get curious and ask questions, which is brilliant built-in advertising. The first thing my friends usually ask me is "does Mordheim have Multiplayer?" I have to answer them honestly "yes, 1v1 with an average of zero games available at any given time." Being able to play with your friends is a huge selling point. A quick glance at steampowered.com/stats shows solid multiplayer games with 500,000 players who played today. From there the numbers drop off dramatically for even the most popular single-player titles. A quick glance at my skirmish screen shows an average of about 1000 for us at any given time, with most of those in single player mode. Cutting to the point, if we want to sell millions of copies for years to come, we need a solid multiplayer component, without having to schedule a 1v1 match like a doctor's appointment. This could increase sales exponentially, which could greatly offset the costs of developing a more robust multiplayer implementation. As to how many characters can be rendered, we can already do 10 human vs 10 ai characters, so it would seem 2 five character human controlled teams vs 10 ai opponents would be viable. I understand it's not quite that simple but solutions like 10 human co-op controlled vs 10 ai on existing maps and missions would go a long way towards pleasing the crowd who want to play with friends, not against them. As for syncing, we are already syncing 2 players against each other, would it not be possible to sync those same 2 against ai opponents? I'm not suggesting new missions, campaigns, animations, etc, rather looking for multiplayer options that would make more matches available in general. As for 2v2 human controlled teams, 5 characters per player would still fall within the 20 character limit. I don't know how the syncing would work, but it has been done before. The excellent initiative system already in place mitigates the boredom of waiting for a turn, which is prevalent in most TBS games., I am not a programmer and i don't understand all the factors but you clearly have a talented team of developers. I implore you to revisit the multiplayer and co-op issue. With a vibrant multiplayer community this game could be a top-seller for years to come, but right now that community is near non-existent. At the moment this game is suffering from the same thing as the table-top version, nobody to play it with. I have tried to stick to constructive criticism and I hope I haven't come across in a negative way. I believe the benefits of this wider appeal would translate directly to more copies sold, which would justify the costs required to make it happen. I realize this post is too long and I have probably lost you along the way. I will try to formulate a more concise presentation and post it in the future. If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time. Now I really must get back to my epic CoTP build. There are only so many hours in a day.

~Regards to the team. Keep up the good work.
Hiho...

1st: I have no idea what they mean by synching.... really no clue. TBS is not something that will ever have any problems with any amount of players... If it were to have, then starcraft wouldn't ever have been created (SC isn't TBS, but TBS doesn't require tracking every click within 10 milliseconds or something, so what the hell can the problem be at all ??????)....

It may also come down to the expectations the devs hold about the impact of their work.
I agree with the observation, that people mostly play multiplayer, and the platform (steam) lends itself to that beautifully. BUT... there's a significant difference between the popularities of the genres. Ego shooters generally attract a much bigger fan base than TBS games. My personal expectation would be that a very strong improvement of the multi player would still generate less revenue than creating more races (Creating a multiplayer DLC would be difficult too, so how to finance it?), while not requiring less work. I worked a bit to create a suggestion to change the handling of the games difficulty (viewtopic.php?f=74&t=2047) but sadly discovered some problems, that also play a significant role in this matter.

- No map is suited for carrying more than 20 units. They'd all need remodelling.
- Having a unit limit of 5 units per player for more players than 2 is exactly useless for attracting more customers...
- 3 to 4 players require slightly bigger maps to prevent players starting on top of each other

On other notes:
- This game mostly sells on fandom of the tabletop and people who like the genre (my assumption. no claim to be correct, but the most likely case). Meaning that no matter how good the mp is, as TBS isn't the most popular genre by far, sales won't increase exponentially. Which also sadly renders comparisons to other genres worthless.
- Popularity is not a synonym for greatness (in the sense of "the game sells millions of copies, so it must be great"). Even sole single player games can survive decades when there's a community behind them (for example Jagged Alliance 2). And this game can very well exist and prosper with a small but dedicated single player fan base!


Btw...: Your Post isn't too complicated per se, but a badly structured blob of text (which I sorted out for myself to make some sense out of it (no offense intended))....

Gravitus

Re: MasterN

Postby Gravitus » 29 February 2016, 07:38

Sorry if you have to "sort out" plain English. I put bullet points in there for you If you find reading challenging. It basically sounds like you were just plugging for more warbands. You could have started your own thread for that instead of trying to undermine my own. The recent DLC added new characters and the player base continued to drop to 300 or so on average, so I don't think DLC is going to help much. if you sold DLC to that "small but dedicated player base" you might rake in another 1500 bucks...whoo hooo. It's probably too late at this point. They let an awesome game die by sticking to their guns and ignoring the player base.

User avatar
MasterN
Posts: 82
Joined: 16 January 2016, 10:49

Re: MasterN

Postby MasterN » 29 February 2016, 23:58

Sorry if you have to "sort out" plain English.
Not everybodys native language is English.
I put bullet points in there for you If you find reading challenging.
If your bullet points contain the entire information of what you want to say, instead of being a quick overview, then why did you bother writing all that in the first place?
It basically sounds like you were just plugging for more warbands. You could have started your own thread for that instead of trying to undermine my own.
What is your reasoning behind that accusation? I argue that your suggested strategy will most likely fail to uphold your expectations and I offer a reasonable assumption on a potentially better investment of time and effort for the (I assume) common goal of keeping the devs in buisiness and the development going. I mentioned this because there is a chance that you haven't taken the presented arguments into consideration.
The recent DLC added new characters and the player base continued to drop to 300 or so on average, so I don't think DLC is going to help much. if you sold DLC to that "small but dedicated player base" you might rake in another 1500 bucks...whoo hooo. It's probably too late at this point.
In my terminology the term "player base" in not limited to the players that are in-game at any given time. As there are no sales figures I can find, it is entirely up to speculation (to us) how successful any given strategy actually is. Unless Rogue Factor releases information on these figures it will stay speculation. And I don't think that that will happen before a major content update (if at all...).
They let an awesome game die by sticking to their guns and ignoring the player base.
a) It's not dead yet, and from our perspective and the amount of information we have, it can not be assumed with certainty that it will die.
b) Concentrating on other matters than multi player does not necessarily mean that they're ignoring the player base. Perhaps there are more voices voting for a different aspect.

May I direct your attention to this poll: viewtopic.php?f=65&t=1713&view=viewpoll


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